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SUBMITTED by Carol May, Secretary, Trail Works, Inc. (8-Apr-2013)

As Spring arrives in our area, Trail Works would like to share some thoughts on the benefits of getting out in Nature. The reflections of Carol Kildoyle will be shared in two installments and it is hoped that these beautiful thoughts inspire you to get out and enjoy the gifts that Nature has to share. For more information on the trails of Wayne County, check our website at www.trailworks.org.

Camp Beechwood in Sodus, New York
Nature’s Gift
by Carol Kildoyle, Treasurer, Trail Works, Inc.

Time to get outside and make memories. We have so many, many beautiful trails in our area with different terrains and difficulty so there is something for everyone. The beauty that is our environment needs to be taken in first hand using all your senses – touch, feel, smell, and see. Stop and smell the roses, breathe in the fresh air, see the beautiful views along the way. Then notice the rejuvenating wave of calm come over you just like a wave reaching the sand.

There are so many benefits to engaging in outside activities in nature, and I will try to touch on a few here that maybe aren't really thought about too much. Surrounding yourself with natural beauty can actually increase immune function. In a Japanese study, 280 people undertook a popular practice called “forest bathing” (shinrin-yoku), which involves merely a short, leisurely visit to a forest. Compared to controls, these forest-goers had lower levels of cortisol, lower pulse rates, and lower blood pressure. Walking and nature are the perfect couple. The best parts of nature can only be experienced on foot. A hike in the mountains, a walk on a beach, or even in a park, all require your own two feet – and with good reason – soaking in nature requires you being a part of it. In today’s technology filled world, getting back in touch with nature is even more important – sometimes we need to be reminded where we came from. So whether you only have ½ an hour, or an entire day to spend walking, make it a nature walk. You’ll return refreshed and able to take on whatever life has in store.

To be continued...


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